In Richmond, Virginia, and surrounding regions, many older married couples are deciding to go their separate ways. This is a trend that is also noticeable throughout the country. A gray divorce refers to spouses age 55 and older who determine that they would rather start over in life without their partners than stay in an unhappy relationship.
Since the 1990s, the divorce rate among people age 65 or beyond has tripled. This age group often encounters financial challenges post-divorce. Therefore, any spouse who fits this category will want to make sure that his or her financial interests are protected if he or she is headed for property division proceedings.
One in every four divorces is a gray divorce
In Virginia and across the country, approximately one out of every four married couples who files for divorce falls under the gray divorce category. The following issues are most relevant to those who are seeking a divorce later in life:
- Tax implications
- Asset protection
- Liability for debt
- Retirement benefits
A primary concern in any divorce is to secure a fair settlement, especially regarding property division. Virginia is an equitable property state, which means that marital assets are fairly divided in a divorce, although not necessarily split equally in half.
Moving on in life after a gray divorce
Some Virginia couples are able to settle a divorce swiftly and amicably, while others need litigation to settle their differences. Either way, it can be helpful to consult with an experienced family law attorney before heading to court. Such an attorney can carefully review all of the unique financial aspects involved in a client’s divorce to significantly increase the odds of achieving the best possible settlement.